Yesterday it was rumoured that Apple will be opening up iOS beta’s to the public.
If this is true, there is one very important change that needs to be made to the App Store before this should even be considered.
Have you ever had negative reviews left on the App Store because the user is using an unreleased iOS beta which causes bugs in your app?
Even if you know about bugs and fix them, there is no way you can upload the fix to the App Store if it requires a beta iOS SDK. It’s not even possible with the TestFlight service to upload a build using a beta SDK.
Last year I filed a bug report with Apple after the iOS 7 beta was released. At that time, during a closed beta, I was seeing an astounding 25% of new users running the beta iOS 7. I was also well aware of a very nasty bug causing my app not to function properly with the beta. This resulted in many 1* negative reviews on the App Store.
Apple did remove reviews, if they mentioned the beta iOS version, as I reported them, but it can be a mammoth task to monitor and report.
Apple didn’t take too kindly to me mentioning the bug with the beta iOS in my app description or update notes, which had to be removed.
If Apple do start making beta’s open to the public, this is going to become a big big problem for all developers.
I strongly urge all developers to file a bug report with Apple (here), asking them to make it impossible for users of a beta iOS version to leave any reviews on the App Store. Feel free to mention my original bug report number 14707442 which never got a response but has been left open for well over a year.
Don’t leave it until it’s too late, this needs to be in place before the beta is made public.